Effects of problem definition and formulation on the generation of alternatives in the social problem-solving process


The main purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of training in D'Zurilla and Goldfried's (1971)procedure for defining and formulating socially oriented problems on performance in generating alternative solutions for such problems. A second objective was to replicate findings of a previous study which found support for the quantity principle on which the generation of alternatives component of this model is based. Results generally confïrmed the original hypotheses, i.e., training in both these procedures independently increased the quality of solutions generated for two stimulus problems.

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Correspondence to Arthur Nezu.

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This paper is based upon portions of a dissertation submitted by the first author in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of doctor in philosophy in psychology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. We would like to thank Marvin Levine, John Gagnon, and Marion MacDonald for their helpful suggestions and criticisms concerning this research, and also Michael R. Petronko and Nina M. Wilbur for their helpful comments on an earlier draft of this paper.

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Nezu, A., D'Zurilla, T.J. Effects of problem definition and formulation on the generation of alternatives in the social problem-solving process. Cogn Ther Res 5, 265–271 (1981). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01193410

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  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Alternative Solution
  • Problem Definition
  • Original Hypothesis
  • Oriented Problem